Animation Cancelling Not an Exploit or Bug

A couple  days ago it was highlighted that there could be an exploit/bug in the Beta regarding skill animation cancelling which enabled chaining of skills by cancelling the first skill midway through. Blizzard has now confirmed that this is not a bug and is in fact intentional, but by no means final and we can expect to see changes as the beta progresses.

It’s an intentional mechanic, not an exploit or bug. Our intent is simply to make combat feel good and responsive, but the implementation to hit that goal in the closed beta build is actually quite old. It’s likely you’ll see changes within some future beta push that reflect more what we’re testing now internally, but of course it’s possible that won’t be the final implementation either.

bashiok is saying that they want people to be casting 2+ spells in the same timespan as 1.

No, that’s not what I’m saying. That’s not the intent.

I’m saying we’re looking for ways to make combat feel responsive and “good”. Those are both rather subjective things, and the early prototype to try to achieve those goals (which is what you can see in the beta) has already been replaced by something else.

Related to this article
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  • Open Letter from Blizzard On The Problematic Launch

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    44 thoughts on “Animation Cancelling Not an Exploit or Bug

    1. Personally I am really excited about the way they approached combat for D3. I always wished that skill was a factor, not only game knowledge. D2 seemed to de-emphasize it even more compared to D1, maybe primarily because of pathfinding.

    2. This guy’s the biggest liar I have ever seen. Does he think every Diablo fan is an idiot?

      • Yes, they have already said they think the fanbase is a bunch of morons. Such as fans are too stupid to know the difference between single player and multiplayer characters so they cut single player mode out of the game to prevent confustion. Players are too stupid to distribute attribute points and skill points so those got wacked too.

        • pretty sure attribute and skill points were not removed because we are too stupid. however, we ARE  too stupid to have a weapon switch function. As our meager minds cant realize where our weapon has gone when we mash the key by accident.

          • Actually, Jay Wilson said in an interview that he thought the 5-point stat system in which you distribute them yourself was too complicated for players. That’s why they changed it.
            And the old stat system wasn’t bad. You’re just a bad player.

      • In what context are you calling him a liar?  Do you actually think it was a bug and not intentional, and he won’t admit it’s a bug?  If that’s the case, then you need look no further than your keyboard to see the proof that Diablo fans are idiots.

        • of course it was not intentional 
          of course its an exploit


          and of course they’re lying about it

          • Seriously why would they lie? “oh no! the fans found out there was a bug in the BETA”. the beta’s purpose is to FIND bugs. Why the hell would they try to claim the game was perfect when the beta started?

    3. Flux, you should really get into the habit of posting source links for those Blizzard posts. Not just to back things up by posting a source, but rather so we can check the context of such things ourselves. Even if it’s just a link to your inhouse blue tracker, at least the real link can be found there.
      On topic: Doesn’t sound so spectacular to me, he’s saying that it’s intentional but doesn’t exist anymore. It’s not an exploit if it’s intended, it’s just a crappy system, so they replaced it, doesn’t really change anything. My expectation is that Blizzard implements a system that is both balanced and intuitive (which this one was definitely not).

    4. I agree these “blue posts” would be a lot nicer if they would actually link to said post.

    5. How does cancelling animations make the combat feel responsive and good ? I just lol all the time with this dev team.

      • It’s responsive because things happen instantly…
        If you’re in a tricky situation and you hit teleport to get out, you don’t want the skill to not work because your previous animation hadn’t finished.

    6. “It’s likely you’ll see changes within some future beta push that reflect more what we’re testing now internally, but of course it’s possible that won’t be the final implementation either.”

      That’s the part of this that really caught my eye. I’d pretty well resigned myself to the beta staying the same small bit of obsolete game code for the next 3-5 months, but this is great news. I can’t see them putting in runes or more content/areas, or even some kind of half-assed “all monster numbers x5” nightmare difficulty just so clvl 13 chars would have some kind of challenge/testing ground where everything didn’t die in 1 shots.  But if they do update the base game with combat engine fixes, the new DH skill sequence, etc, that would be great.

    7. “bashiok is saying that they want people to be casting 2+ spells in the same timespan as 1.”

      That’s a huge leap. I don’t know how he even interpreted what Bashiok said as that.

      • Probably from the “It’s an intentional mechanic, not an exploit or bug.” part in regards to animation cancelling… As in animation cancelling allows people to cast two spells in about the time it normally takes to cast one… Bashiok says that mechanic is in there intentionally… thusly casting two spells in about the same time it takes to cast one was intentional… transitive property… 😀  Now where he made his mistake is by saying it as if they still want it to be that way even though Bashiok said it’s old and they are testing something different now…

        • in the tL post it was measured that it is about 33% faster than just hitting 1 button  so 20 attacks instead of 15

    8. PR-Speak is so hilarious.  What he meant to say was “Thanks for reporting the bug.  It will be fixed in the final release.”

      • I actually fully believe it was intentional, just not good enough for the fluent combat feeling they are trying to achieve. The sorc in d2 could use a similar tactic (though not really the same as animations werent canceled). Because say frozen orb and fireball traveled at vastly different speeds, if you had them on opposite mouse buttons you could esentially spam both spells at the same time. Its the same principle to this ‘exploit’ just achieved in a different way.

        Im eager too see what they have come up with to replace this. Im all for combat aspects that reward players that have greater skill 😀

      • Nah, I’m thinking it was just a necessery evil at the time, which they were either going to leave in if they didn’t find a better solution or replace it. Sounds like they’ve replaced it, but I wonder what with?

      • Why would they be perfectly willing to admit hundreds of other bugs but not this one? Sorry, but your conspiracy theory logic right there is kind of… bad…

        • its ok to admit mistakes now and then but after awhile if you keep admitting you screwed up on so many little things people start to wonder about the overall product.

          saying its a feature that they just might change later to me sounds like its a bug that might be ok but we will see how it plays. many of todays game features started as bugs, this may be one of them

      • Fixing the animation skipping will consume a huge time of the dev team, thats why they dont want to admit. My 2 cents.

        • Exactly! As Blizzard has shown time and again, they’re completely unwilling to delay a game release in order to spend more dev time on it.

      • If it were intentional, then it would work on two mouse buttons or two keyboard buttons, but it doesn’t. I’m not buying it. Maybe the “cover up” is due to this being more of an exploit discovered and not a bug like weapon damage isn’t scaling properly, etc.

    9. I wish theyd give us the current beta build to test. Its so annoying to whine over bugs/faulty features that – apparently – have been changed months ago.
      I was 100% certain its a bug until they moved the thread from the bug forum to the suggestion forum. I was really interested how they would try to justify that “feature”. Glad they changed it, let’s just hope they changed it into something better.

      Good to hear on updates to the beta though. With the longer beta test time, truly needed.

    10. Pretty cool if they make the fighting into combo streetfighter style! When you pull of a combo it feels good!

    11. Look, the network stress test team isn’t the same as the game development team. Why can’t they test two damn things at the same time? Test your network, but also test your game engine/mechanics to make sure they’re fun. Did the patcher instal team just up and die or something? Shouldn’t a good patcher be one of the first things you test, so that you can go ahead a test a bunch of other stuff w/ subsequent patches?

    12. the following is quoted from a user named Spyridon from teamliquid. The original discoverer of this “bug” who’s also a game dev agreed as well.
      “Being a game developer myself, I can say this is probably an intentional addition.

      Reason being, the abilities are done thru different action states. If you did NOT want an attack to be canceled, you simply make it so that the attack can not be performed in a current state. For certain abilities to cancel another, there has to be a specific exception allowing the second attack to be performed. In the code for the “Attack” state, you have to tell it what you want to happen during the state – you have to manually add code stating that the controller needs to check Hotkeys during the state for your abilities to work at all.

      I’ll give you another example. When making a character controller, the primary thing on your mind is what is going to be cancelable in to each other. The function that gets your movement input is disabled in certain situations – such as when you attack. As you can see, this is working perfectly – if a character is moving the movement is canceled when performing an ability. The place you put the function to get your movement input is the SAME PLACE that you will typically put the hotkey input, that way everything is disabled at the same time. That means that if certain abilities (or States) are allowed, you have to manually add an exception in the “Attack State” area,saying to still get hotkey input.

      Taking this in to consideration, it’s highly unlikely this was a mistake.

      I also must stress, what abilities can be canceled in to another is the FIRST THING on your mind when creating character controllers. It’s tested from the beginning, with every state you add to the game. Movement states, hit-stun states, interruption states, attack states, ability states…. those are added one at a time and MUST be tested upon implementation. For any of these to cancel one state but not cancel all of them has to explicitly be created that way.

      The places you typically have to look for bugs in controllers is with jumping states or hit stun states – because often times a developer will miss a certain variable when Jumping that will make a portion of an attack state still happen – Jumping or getting hit has to MANUALLY cancel what you are doing and replace it wit hsomething else. But attack states are different, they only perform actions and are not coded to manually cancel anything – they only have to disable movement & hotkey input – if they ARE canceling something it requires special coding to do so.”

    13. “the early prototype to try to achieve those goals (which is what you can see in the beta) has already been replaced by something else”

      I don’t know, but it sure makes it sound like they’re still quite a ways off…

    14. Just who is the blue? and really every Quote should be linked.
      As things stand ATM I say it just Blizzard been told to say “working as intended but maybe changed” to everything, unless one of the bigwig have already commented on it.

      • Oh a bit more it lame cop out IMO, and one thing it don’t do is make the game feel any better instead it has the opposite effect, and is the furthest thing from awesome I can think of.
        If this is needed then it says that there animations are to long on the skills and therefore should be changed, personally I would prefer no animations at all to this cancelling method.
        Oh and lastly there’s nothing more confusion than how it work in the descriptions I read so I can do mouse + any key but not 2 mouse or 2 keys?

    15. i can see how skipping animations and doing x2 damage would go with their wanting to have powerful characters but it goes against their resource systems if you can hax it to do 2 skills at once. also where’s the tactics if you can say, do damage and retreat in one move? doesnt seem tactful.

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